Folks see advertisements for accident lawyers on TV all the time, but the ads don't really tell you much about what such attorneys actually do. More importantly, it helps to know what the obligations of attorneys-at-law in such situations are once they take on new clients. If you're wondering what your relationship with a lawyer really should be like, here's what you need to know about the subject.
Protecting Clients' Rights
This can sound high-minded or nebulous, but in legal terms, protecting clients' rights has a very specific meaning. As Americans, we have the right to have our grievances addressed in a fair and impartial manner through the legal system. Accident lawyers, as clients' representatives in potentially complex matters, have an obligation to see that their clients' rights are preserved. In such proceedings, these rights include due process rights related to filing their claims before specific deadlines, obtaining testimony from witnesses, presenting matters in front of the court, and assisting with the discovery of evidence.
Defending Clients' Interests
Lawyers also have an obligation to provide advice that they believe is in the best interests of their clients. Let's say you're working with a group of truck accident attorneys on a lawsuit against a self-insured freight carrier. You might want to nail the company to the wall for injuries you suffered in an accident. As best your attorneys can tell, though, there's a point at which the carrier will end up bankrupt if you take the case to court. The freight company offers a settlement that keeps it solvent.
An attorney in this case may feel that getting settlement money now is better for the client than trying to pound for justice. There's a risk that any jury award will be tied up in bankruptcy proceedings for years. Consequently, the truck accident attorneys handling the claim have an obligation to inform you of this and to state that they feel it would be best to take the deal.
Keeping Clients Informed
One of the trickier aspects of accident claims is that there's a lot of boring stuff to keep track of. Attorneys-at-law, though, are obligated to keep their clients up to date with developments on a regular basis. In accident cases, this means letting them know that negotiations are ongoing and paperwork is being filed. Most importantly, it also means providing notice of all offers to settle clients' claims.
For more information about what it's like to work with an attorney, contact a law firm, such as Wolfe Jones Wolfe Hancock Daniel & South LLC.